Thursday, November 15, 2012

Take that, scammers!



Telemarketers and scammers always seem to call at mealtimes or other inconvenient times. They should all be spanked! Even with our TeleZapper, we still get our share of nuisance calls. Most are calls from banks we don't have accounts with, or from firms eager to scrub our ducts. But from time to time we get calls from people whose intention is more sinister than simply wanting to sell us magazine subscriptions. They are from scammers who pretend to know what's going on inside our computers, and want to get access to them for nefarious purposes.

Here's a rough approximation of the first of those calls.


Me: Hello. Hello? (If I have to say "hello" more than once, I know it's a nuisance call.)

Scammer: Hello ma'am I am calling from Microsoft. This is the server security.

Me: Microsoft? Really? (Can you tell I'm already sceptical?)

Scammer: We have detected virus on your computer.

Me: You have? But I have virus protection.

Scammer: It doesn't work. What we have to do is gain access to your computer and see what is wrong, so if you can give me...

Me: Don't be silly. This is a scam. (Click)


He called back immediately and resumed from where he had left off.


Scammer: ...And once we can control your computer we can see exactly where virus is and...

Me: No way. This is a scam. Stop calling me! (Click)


He called back a third time, now quite agitated.


Scammer: Why you say I am scammer? I not scammer you have virus...

Me: Sigh. (Click)


A few months later, I got a similar call, and the voice sounded pretty much the same. This time I was better prepared and tried to have a little fun at the scammer's expence.


Me: Hello. Hello? (Sounds of noise and talking in the background)

Scammer: Hello ma'am, I am calling from Microsoft. We have detected virus on your computer.

Me: A virus? Oh no, I had no idea. That's terrible! What can I do? (Can you hear the sarcasm?)

Scammer: We send you several messages already. Why you ignore them?

Me: No, I never got any messages. What did they say?

Scammer: (Sternly) Why you not reply to our messages? We send you messages.

Me: I couldn't. My keyboard doesn't work. (It was the best I could come up with:)

Scammer: (Long silence. Click.)



This one is the latest. As soon as I heard who was calling, I knew I'd have some fun with this guy.


Me: Hello. Hello? (pause while the robot realizes there's someone on the line.) Hello!

Scammer: Hello, this is the computer support department. I am calling about your computer.

Me: Oh, how nice! (Doesn't everyone wish they had their own personal computer support department?) But which computer?

Scammer: Um... I...I am calling about your computer.

Me: Yes I know, but which one? We have two computers.

Scammer: The one with Windows installed.

Me: They both have Windows. Which one is this call specifically in reference to?

Scammer:  (Pause) The laptop.

Me: The laptop? We don't own a laptop. Both of our machines are desktops.

Scammer: (Silence)

Me: You must have the wrong number. (Click)


Next time he calls, I'm going to tell him I'm in the middle of a murder investigation and he is a prime suspect.

video


From Hermione's Heart

22 comments:

1manview said...

LMBO... And I thought I was bad...

morningstar said...

OMG too funny !! I have received a few of those calls and I just hang up.... but I like your idea of "which computer" I am going to try that the next time :)

ronnie said...

Funny. I usually hang up once I've said hello twice.

Love,
Ronnie
xx

Anastasia Vitsky said...

Wow! You are clever and a fast thinker. I'm not sure I'd be able to remember to say something like that in time.

I've heard, although I think this is pretty mean to the child, if you have a 3-year-old handy hand her/him the phone and say it's Santa.

Also I've heard that the best thing to do is take up the caller's time (i.e. waste it) and say, "Sure! Just a minute please" and set the receiver down (but not hang up) and make the person wait. And wait. And wait. They'll hang up eventually.

Our Bottoms Burn said...

Since dropping our land line and being real careful about giving out our number, we get about one call a year now.

I tell them our credit is so far in the toilet that I will buy whatever they are selling just to boost my credit rating.

Or that I am house sitting and do they have any weed they can sell me.

Brian Haynes said...

Thats also kinda creepy. I pick up the phone and say this is xxxxxxx city police dept. They hang up instantly. Then again im alone with my kiddo here and dont wanna be creeped out. You put a very funny spin on it though lol.

Penelope said...

YEAH! Hermione kicks butt! :D

I wish I had your smarts when I got calls like that - you totally turn the tables on them!

ians mrs said...

Well done, Hermione!

We play the denial game here......
our ducts? - don't have any
septic tank cleaning enzymes? we don't have plumbing
pbs donation? don't watch tv (that is true btw)
and we have said, "we don't have a computer" to that one of which you speak.

I didn't realize they are computer generated calls! Wow they are getting really good.

Red said...

sad but true... Better to let your dog bark at them!

sunnygirl said...

Sooo funny and very clever. I'm with you if I have to say hello twice, I just hang up. Supposedly I have the junk calls blocked but they just keep calling.

I've asked for thier number so I can call them back during their dinner break. There are some more good suggestions here I have to remember to try the next time.

Young Lady said...

We don't have a land line, but we still get a number of recorded calls on our cell phones. This actually almost lost me important information - there was a recording and I started to hang up when I realized it was legit about my paycheck at my nanny job. *laugh* and several times now it's been my credit card company calling to tell me I am late on my payments - they SOUND like spam, but then it turns out to be true. I had one credit card accuse me of avoiding paying them because I kept hanging up. :-p

Bas said...

After this I'm considering striking my name from the Do Not Call Registry.

Bobbie Jo said...

I got one call and the guy gave me a number to call back. As I was getting ready to go to the bank, he called back and asked me if I had called the number or not. I gave the number to the guy at the bank and we had some fun with the caller. He got down right nasty.

Another time I got a call that was basically the same type as above. They wanted a delivery fee for a "prize" I had won. I told him the have the delivery guy meet me at the bank and when the check cleared, they would get the delivery fee. Talk about getting angry. I told him it was a scam and hung up.

I would love to have a sound recording of a volcano going off and play that. LOL

Fondles said...

i don't get these scammers but i do get people asking if i want to sell my property. i guess they're agencies fishing. and i have LOADS of fun at their expense too.

Hermione said...

1manview - Perhaps you are:)

morningstar - I usually hang up too. This was too good to pass up.

Ronnie - Ditto here for sales calls.

Ana - I'll try to remember to borrow a 3-year-old next time I have a call requesting my banking information. Putting the phone down is good too.

OBB - I love it! And do you sometimes actually get "yes" as the answer?

Brian - We don't have call display so that would be hard to do. Sometimes if the call is at 5 pm (usual time for telemarketers) Ron will answer with "Ron's Liquor Store."

Penelope - Why, thank you!

Lillie - I do that too. No furnace, no windows, no whatever you want to fix.

Red - Oh, they do, trust me, they do!

Sunnygirl - We are on the Do Not Call list too. Two of them. Doesn't seem to have any effect.

Young Lady - Oh, my, you are too enthusiastic in your effort to derail the telemarketers.

Bas - It doesn't really work here.

Bobbie Jo - LOL! I love your style! We win a cruise about every month, but there's a huge fee for "processing". No thanks.

Fondles - Sounds like you have a good time with the agencies.

Hugs,
Hermione

Erica said...

This is wild! I've never gotten a call about computer viruses. Usually it's just my cable company, phone company or bank, trying to get me to sign on for extra services.

And really, what IS up with having to say "Hello" twice? Why don't these idiots hear you the first time?

joeyred51 said...

This is awful. They should be caned.

I usually just hang up.


Hug,
Joey

Anonymous said...

I usually say no thanks and hang up whereas my hubby slams the phone down hoping to break the caller's eardrum.

I got the microsoft calls also. I just tell them my husband is a systems analyst and we are protected. That gets dead silence and a click when they hang up. And he really is a computer expert/analyst.

Joyce

Hermione said...

Erica - The idiots don't hear because they are too busy chatting while the machine does the dialing. Or maybe it takes a while for my voice to travel halfway around the world.

Joey - So do I when I can't bother to be creative.

Joyce - I love that idea. I'm going to use it next time. I could extend it to "My husband is a --- specialist" and fill in the blanks to suit the occasion.

Hugs,
Hermione

Anonymous said...

I use the line (in an annoyed voice)
"I called you about the problem 10 days ago. Why has it taken you so long to call me back?"
If they then persist, I ask again why the delay and then ask "What are overflowing handles, anyway? And what are you going to do about them?"
And onwards "If you don't know and can't help, whay are you calling? I suppose there will be even more delay now?"
And then I ask for their supervisor. One idiot was so confused he actually connected me to his boss!! That was fun. I only wish I had started the call by tring to sell the boss a) life insurance b) worthless shares c) a timeshare property in norther Iraq d) eternal life via some bogus religion or other or something else "of value to you or your children in teh future".

Anonymous said...

I use the line (in an annoyed voice)
"I called you about the problem 10 days ago. Why has it taken you so long to call me back?"
If they then persist, I ask again why the delay and then ask "What are overflowing handles, anyway? And what are you going to do about them?"
And onwards "If you don't know and can't help, whay are you calling? I suppose there will be even more delay now?"
And then I ask for their supervisor. One idiot was so confused he actually connected me to his boss!! That was fun. I only wish I had started the call by tring to sell the boss a) life insurance b) worthless shares c) a timeshare property in norther Iraq d) eternal life via some bogus religion or other or something else "of value to you or your children in teh future".

Anonymous said...

Some of these are more sinister then just ripping a few dollars off. Once they have remote access, it's quite easy to install rootkits that record all your keystrokes. So, for example, you logon to your bank, they now have the information to access it.

I have received several calls from friends asking me if this was really Microsoft and what should they do (some of my less computer savvy friends).

I usually try to string them along for as long as I can (even indicating that I will pay for their service).

OTKRob